How's the week treating you? Did you know that Thanksgiving is next week? How the heck did THAT happen?
Fortunately for me, I'm preparing a speech (which is really kind of a chat with slides) for a local group of moms. I'm not wild about the idea of public speaking, but the topic is very dear to my heart. The talk is meant to be all about slowing down and simplifying holiday celebrations to make them more meaningful for families. How could I not be a part of that? The unexpected benefit of participating is that in order to prepare to speak, I've been sort of forced to really focus my heart and mind on going into this season with an attitude of peace and purpose. Now if only I can stay the course!
Let's face it. What with all the gift and meal planning, the decorating, the photo ops, the many personalities and preferences that must be taken into consideration, the crowds, the events, the sheer number of bodies and voices and needs and desires, the making, the doing, the anticipation, expectation, lights and laughter and longing…. all of it is both wonderful and overwhelming.
So I'm on a peace-keeping mission…. a mission to keep my own sense of peace, and to spread it thick over our celebrations.
One of the very small ways that I I hope to keep my head on straight in the midst of the holiday storm is my newfound love, the morning walk. Just carving out a little time, no matter how small, with some regularity is so important for me. And I must say, the dog is turning out to be a GREAT excuse to get outside and breathe before the day begins.
We just go around the block. He proclaims his greatness by christening every stationary object, and I listen to NPR. I've been meaning to share some of the interesting things that I've heard along the way. To name just a very few:
Spontaneous Smiley - The kids love this one, and it has opened our eyes to the smiles all around us. We were already looking for hearts (like the one above, found a few doors down from our house), but now we're also looking for happiness wherever we go…. a worthy endeavor if ever there was one.
My Parents Were Awesome - So fantastic…. the photos and the thought behind it. Once, all us old fogies were young whipper snappers with the world at our feet. And one day, our offspring will no doubt find new and improved ways to share our poor fashion choices with the world.
Polar Obsession - Just imagining the world of this photographer/adventurer will take your breath away, let alone seeing his photos!
Somehow all of these little stories add up in my mind to a more full perspective. There are smiles all around us. People are more than they seem. There are depths and wonders yet undiscovered. Today, and this moment, and this holiday season are just one drop in one big glorious bucket.
How about you? Heard anything new and interesting lately?
Know any brilliant ways to find calm in the midst of the holiday madness?